Comparative study of 99mTc-ECD and 99mTc-HMPAO for peri-ictal SPECT: Qualitative and quantitative analysis

Terence J. O'Brien, Benjamin H. Brinkmann, Brian P. Mullan, Elson L. So, Mary F. Hauser, Michael K. O'Connor, Joseph Hung, Clifford R. Jack

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Objectives - Most studies that clinically validated peri-ictal SPECT in intractable partial epilepsy had used technetium-99m-hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (99mTc-HMPAO or 99mTc-exametazime) as the radiopharmaceutical. Because of some theoretical advantages, technetium-99m-ethyl cysteinate diethylester (99mTc-ECD or 99mTc-bicisate) is increasingly being used instead. This study compares unstabilised 99mTc-HMPAO and 99mTc-ECD in the performance of peri-ictal SPECT in partial epilepsy. Methods - The injection timing and localisation rates in 49 consecutive patients with partial epilepsy who had peri-ictal injections with unstabilised 99mTc-HMPAO were compared with 49 consecutive patients who had peri-ictal injections with 99mTc-ECD. Quantitative cortical/subcortical and cortical/extracerebral uptake ratios were also compared. Subtraction SPECT coregistered to MRI (SISCOM) was performed in patients whose interictal SPECTS were available. Results - In the 99mTc-ECD patients, the latency from seizure commencement to injection was shorter (median 34 v 80 seconds, p<0.0001) and there was a lower rate of postictal injections (16.3% v 57.1%, p<0.0001). The cortical/extracerebral and cortical/subcortical uptake ratios were greater in the 99mTc-ECD images (median 5.0 v 3.6, and 2.5 v 2.2 respectively; both p<0.005), but the relative peri-ictal increase in uptake in the cortical focus did not differ significantly (median 37.0% v 37.0%; p>0.05). Blinded review of the SIS-COM images were localising in a higher proportion of the 99mTc-ECD patients (40/45 (88.9%) v 25/37 (67.6%), p<0.05), and had a better concordance with EEG, MRI, and with the discharge diagnosis. Conclusion-99mTc-ECD compares favourably with unstabilised 99mTc-HMPAO as a radiopharmaceutical for peri-ictal SPECT studies. Its use results in earlier injections and less frequent postictal injections than unstabilised 99mTc-HMPAO, thereby enhancing the sensitivity and the specificity of peri-ictal SPECT for the localisation of intractable partial epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Ictal SPECT
  • Tc-ECD
  • Tc-HMPAO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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